You’re Going to See this Again

Probably in an upcoming Überpost. Quote of the fucking YEAR:

What if democracy is merely the politic or superstructure of a particular cultural stage? Simple mass literacy in that case, continuing advances in teaching and learning in secondary and post-secondary levels will necessarily upset democracy in the places where it first appeared. Secondary education and especially higher education will introduce the notion of inequality into the mental and ideological organization of developed societies. After a brief period of hesitation and scruples the more highly educated end up believing they are truly superior.

In developed countries, a new class is emerging that comprises roughly 20% of the population in terms of sheer numbers, but controls about half of each nation’s wealth. This new class has more and more trouble putting up with the constraints of universal suffrage. It is a surprising return to the world of Aristotle, in which oligarchy may replace democracy at the very moment when democracy is beginning to take hold in Eurasia, it is weakening in those places where it was born.

These are indeed curious democracies, in which the political system pits elitism against populism and vice-versa. And although universal suffrage persists in theory, the elites of right and left close ranks to block any reorientation of economic policies that would lead to greater equality.

The common understanding among the elite, reflection of a common superior language among them prevents any correcting of the political system facade when universal suffrage would suggest the possibility of crisis.

Emmanuel Todd, After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order, (2001)

Man, did he nail THAT.

(This was transcribed from this YouTube video. All errors are mine. I have the book on order, but it won’t be here for a week or two.)

Oh, the Irony!

Markley’s Law states: “As an online discussion of gun owners’ rights grows longer, the probability of an ad hominem attack involving penis size approaches 1.”

It appears someone did some actual research on the question of penises and gun ownership.

I think some people are going to be surprised. Pullquote:

In this study, we formally examine the association between penis size dissatisfaction and gun ownership in America. The primary hypothesis, derived from the psychosexual theory of gun ownership, asserts that men who are more dissatisfied with the size of their penises will be more likely to personally own guns. To test this hypothesis, we used data collected from the 2023 Masculinity, Sexual Health, and Politics (MSHAP) survey, a national probability sample of 1,840 men, and regression analyses to model personal gun ownership as a function of penis size dissatisfaction, experiences with penis enlargement, social desirability, masculinity, body mass, mental health, and a range of sociodemographic characteristics. We find that men who are more dissatisfied with the size of their penises are less likely to personally own guns across outcomes, including any gun ownership, military-style rifle ownership, and total number of guns owned. The inverse association between penis size dissatisfaction and gun ownership is linear; however, the association is weakest among men ages 60 and older.

TRUST THE SCIENCE!™

And the best part?

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The data collection for this study was supported by funding from Change The Ref, an organization that “uses urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic.” Although Change The Ref holds a clear political stance (Anti– Ed.) with respect to the role of guns in society, this organization played no part in the planning or implementation of the study.

An anti-gun group funded the study!!

Truth in Fiction

I’ve been reading a space-opera series, Backyard Starship, for a while now. We’re on book 21 of a planned 25 in total. I just started reading the newest one today, in fact, so this excerpt hit pretty hard:

I keep wondering if we’re getting closer and closer to flipping that switch that Larry Correia talked about.

Quote of the Day

Is Trump any “stupider and delusional” than Joe Biden? (A separate but nonetheless pertinent question: is Trump any more dangerous and destructive than was Barack Obama?)

I think we can agree that Trump is not an intellectual. All things considered, though, I am not so sure that is a liability in a political leader.

Back in 2015-2016, I wrote probably a score of columns making fun of Donald Trump. He is a man that, in some ways, cries out for caricature. I was at that time backing Ted Cruz. Then Cruz dropped out and it was Trump or Hillary. To me, that was an easy choice. I regarded Hillary as the most corrupt serious candidate for President in history (I did not then know about Biden’s unfathomable corruption). So I cast my lot, somewhat reluctantly at first, in with Trump. But the more I listened to him, the more I was impressed with what he said: about the inner cities, energy, regulation, the border, the media, foreign affairs. True, he was not a master of the honeyed phrase, but I agreed with him about many things.

Then there was his actual performance. He actually accomplished almost everything he promised to do (the great exception was getting rid of Obamacare: John McCain, in his last fit of pique, prevented that).

Trump pushed through a huge tax cut that benefitted the majority of taxpayers and increased federal revenue by billions. He exploited our energy resources and made America energy independent. He drastically curtailed illegal immigration. He drastically reduced the regulatory burden on businesses. Until Covid hit, the economy boomed. Inflation and unemployment were low—minority unemployment was the lowest on record—and wages, especially wages at the lower end of the scale, soared.

Trump managed to get three Supreme Court Justices and hundreds of federal judges approved. He challenged the destructive ideology of critical race theory and what’s come to be called DEI. In foreign affairs, he moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, something that had been promised since the time of Bill Clinton but which was never done. He brought into being the Abraham Accords, a world historical achievement, in my opinion, which should have won him the Nobel Peace Prize. He destroyed ISIS. He rebuilt the US military infrastructure. And he did all this, remember, to the steady drum beat of a hostile media and deep state apparatus that kept screaming about (we know now) illusionary Russian collusion, etc.

Trump’s two biggest liabilities, in my view, were incontinent spending and poor personnel choices. I am afraid that he has not learned to forgo the former. About the latter, though, he seems to have made great strides. If he is elected we won’t see anymore Rex Tillersons or Jim Mattises. Whether he will be able to navigate the perilous, weed- and snake-infested waters of The Swamp is another question. I have recommended he bypass Washington altogether, beginning with holding his inauguration elsewhere. I don’t think he will, though, and I think it is an open question whether he can triumph over the entrenched elite that actually governs the country.

But the bottom line, for me, is that Trump was, despite the monolithic hostility of the establishment, an extraordinarily successful president. Was that the work of a “seriously stupid and delusional” figure? I don’t think so, but opinions, I’ve noticed, vary.

From Defying the Odds: Trump’s Bronx Speech and Its Impact. RTWT.

Abortion.

That’s gonna draw eyeballs, you’d think.

Over at Quora, some person asked: How can abortion be seen as a government issue? It’s a reasonable question, so I answered it:

Per our Constitution, everyone has certain inalienable rights. The right to life is one of those.

Regardless of your position on the topic, some time during gestation, an embryo becomes a human being. The argument seems to be whether this occurs at conception, at birth, or some point in between.

Most of the European nations seem to feel that the point is at about 12 weeks, where most of those polities set a limit on unregulated abortion.

Medically ending a pregnancy after that point is, quite literally, homicide – the taking of a human life. If it is for legitimate medical necessity, it is justifiable homicide. But if not, well, then it is at minimum manslaughter, but more likely borders on premeditated murder. Even Leftist Bill Maher understands:

That is a “government issue”.

There are three answers to that question at the time of this posting. The other two are… well, uninformed. Mine has received a whopping 54 views in four days.

This Blog is now Old Enough to Buy a Handgun

I put up my first blogpost at the old Blogger site May 14, 2003. One year later I posted “40 Things about Me and This Blog.” I decided to update that list for this auspicious anniversary.

1) I started this blog on Wednesday, May 14, 2003.

2) I’m 61 years old.

3) I’m male, white, married, and overweight. I drive a different pickup. (4WD. Still no gunrack, though.)

4) I have an IQ somewhere in the 130’s, and my Meyers-Briggs personality type is INTJ. (My wife says I should frame that description for future reference – it’s that accurate.) Supposedly INTJ’s make up only one or two percent of the population. That would explain a lot.

5) I have a BA degree in General Studies after spending 5½ years in college studying Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering.

6) The Arizona Board of Technical Registration says I’m a qualified, registered Professional Engineer, (Electrical). I had Nevada registration but let it lapse after my medical issues.

7) I had a rare genetic enzyme disorder that causes a condition known as Acute Intermittent Porphyria. My case was relatively mild and did’t affect my mental balance, but it hurt pretty bad when it occurred and it required me to sustain a carbohydrate-heavy diet – just ONE reason I’m fat. It also turns out I had Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, another liver disorder. This one cost me my liver and kidneys in 2018. I guess I just won the genetic Gold Medal. The new liver doesn’t have Acute Intermittent Porphyria or Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. I’m much better now. But still fat.

8) I do not smoke, I do not drink, and I’ve never taken an illicit substance. I’ve never been intoxicated and never wanted to be. I don’t understand the attraction and don’t want to. But I don’t believe it’s the business of government to tell me that I cannot.

9) I’m a shooter and a reloader. Those are two of my hobbies. My blog is another, though it has consumed the majority of my time, spare and otherwise, over about 18 years. I also owned a 1967 fastback big-block Mustang that I sold many years ago when the wise words of Mr. Spock came to mind: “Having is not as pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”

10) I have two siblings; a brother five years older who is now semi-retired, and a sister four years older who is fully retired. I don’t get to retire. I get to work until the afternoon of the day of my funeral.

11) My mother passed nine years ago. My father turned 90 this year. He still lives here in Tucson.

12) I was pretty much apolitical for the first half of my life. I was 12 years old when Nixon resigned, and I was quite happy when Jimmy Carter won the Presidency. THAT was short-lived. I turned 18 in 1980 and voted for Ronald Reagan for President. It was quite obvious to me that Carter was a nice man, but a lousy President. He’s still a nice man, but he should have stuck to building houses and stayed the fuck out of policy.

13) Since that time there has not been a single candidate I was happy to vote for but quite a number I was more than willing to vote against. In almost every case, my vote has been against the Democrat running.

14) In 1992 I voted against G.H.W. Bush AND William Jefferson Clinton by casting my ballot for H. Ross Perot. I did not make that mistake a second time, though by then it didn’t matter. I didn’t really want Dole either.

15) In 2000 I cast my vote against Al Gore. On Sept. 12, 2001 I was very glad I had. I’m not quite as content with my decision today, but I still believe that Gore would have been an unmitigated disaster. (G.W. Bush is merely a mitigated one. His domestic policies are a mess. His prosecution of the war is not.) I believe the same to be true of any potential Democrat candidate for the seat this year. As I note below, I don’t think Kerry will be the name on the ticket come November.

15a) In 2016 I cast my vote against Hillary Clinton, and damn was I surprised when she lost. Trump turned out a couple of orders of magnitude better than I ever expected. All I’d hoped for was complete gridlock, but we got three very good Supreme Court Justices that, had Hillary been able to nominate, would have basically ended the Constitution in this country.

16) In general, my politics are those of a pragmatic libertarian (small “L”). I believe in maximum freedom and personal responsibility. I recognize that those are relatively rare traits. (Remember my Meyers-Briggs personality type. “Does it WORK?”)

16a) I have since concluded that Henry Louis Mencken was right when he wrote, “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

17) I had an AR-15 “post-ban” “assault rifle” custom built for me in 1997, specifically because of the 1994 AWB. And that sucker shoots. It STILL shoots. But it’s still the pipsqueak .223 varmint cartridge. I have since purchased / built two more, one I call my M4gery and another chambered in the thumping .458SOCOM loading.

18) After the AWB sunsetted, I had a custom M1A clone built. Top-of-the-line everything. Beaucoup bucks. Shoots 4MOA no matter what I feed it. Feeds and functions perfectly, but it patterns rather than groups.

19) I’m a shooter, not a collector. I don’t like overly fancy guns, but functional ones. I like hitting small things from a long way off, so most everything I’ve got is rifled. I have one shotgun, a Mossberg 590 model 50665. It is not a Sporting Clays gun. I still have this shotgun.

20) I used to be primarily a handgun shooter, though I have learned to embrace rifles. I was the match director for the local International Handgun Metallic Silhouette matches at the Tucson Rifle Club, but I gave that up over a decade ago.

21) I haven’t been the Tucson Rifle Club’s Pistol Director, in over a decade.

22) My favorite target pistol is still my Remington XP-100 center-grip chambered in 7mm Benchrest.

23) I’m a shooter, not a hunter. I understand the appeal that hunting has for some, but for me hunting is “taking your gun for a walk.” If you do it right, you only pull the trigger once, and then things get messy.

24) I prefer shooting steel to punching paper. I like reactive targets. Exploding targets are good, too.

25) I have shot clay pigeons in the air with my sporterized 1917 Enfield in its standard .30-06 chambering, shooting Korean military surplus 147 grain FMJ ammo. I hit three out of the first ten. I have witnesses. (I missed all of the next ten, though.)

26) I want to do it again, but I never have.

27) My favorite handgun is still my First-Gen Kimber Custom Stainless 1911 in its John Moses Browning intended caliber of .45 ACP. My favorite load (Disclaimer: Use At Your Own Risk) is a 200 grain Speer Gold Dot hollowpoint over 7.0 grains of Unique. Out of my pistol it pushes 950fps, hits with a 6 o’clock hold at 25 yards and with a dead-on hold at 50. It feeds and functions with complete reliability. I still wonder if I could hit a clay in the air with it.

27) When it comes to bolt-action rifles, I’m a cock-on-close enthusiast. My first bolt gun was a No. 4 Mk I Lee Enfield, my second a 1896 Swedish Mauser. Now that I’ve acquired a 1917 Enfield, I’m even more convinced that cock-on-close is the way it ought to be. Your mileage may vary. I don’t give a shit.

28) I’m also convinced that recoil, at least to some point, is something you can simply learn to ignore. When I started shooting rifles, my .303 No. 4 kicked pretty damned hard. Now I can sit at a bench and put 100 rounds through my 1917 with essentially no discomfort. I’ve fired a couple hundred rounds of .30-06, .303, and 12 gauge high-base in a single afternoon and had barely a bruise and just a tiny bit of stiffness the next day. I now have a .300 WinMag Remington 700 with a brake. I can do 100 rounds in a session, but I’m a little tender the next day.

29) Flinching, on the other hand, requires a LOT of practice to overcome, and it comes back if you don’t keep up your practice. Intentionally setting off an explosion a few inches from your face is not a natural act. It takes a while to convince your subconscious that everything is copacetic, and I don’t think it remains convinced long.

30) I think I preferred handguns because shooting a handgun well is more difficult than shooting a rifle well. I like the challenge, but hitting at 700 yards with a rifle is actually tougher than 300 yards with a handgun.

31) I like reloading because it requires concentration and precision, just like shooting does. Loading my own ammo adds that much more control over the entire process. It doesn’ hurt that it costs a lot less than buying commercial, either. But I won’t load for someone else, and I won’t shoot someone else’s reloads.

31a) Holy sh!t have component prices shot up! There was a period there of about five years when I just didn’t feel up to it (liver failure takes a while), so I accumulated stuff, but didn’t reload. I recently got back into it again. I could probably retire on my primer stash.

32) Back to politics: I think our political system has degenerated from “loyal opposition” to out-and-out “the other side.” I think this bodes ill for our future as a nation. The polarization affects about 10-15% of the population, leaving 70-80% in the middle pretty sick and tired of all the crap they have to put up with. Unfortunately, very few in that middle bother to vote much. Fewer bother to think.

32a) The polarization has expanded to perhaps 33% of the population and gotten wider and deeper in the last 20 years. The Other Side™ has dropped its mask and is proceeding apace. I’m currently working on an überpost on this topic.

33) I’m registered as a Republican but not a member of the “Republican Party.” By that, I mean that I believe our Founders had it right in that Democracy was a quick path to Hell. As one local op-ed columnist put it recently

The Electoral College stands as an elitist and blatant reminder that the founders of this nation believed the rabble – that’s us – couldn’t be trusted with the task of directly choosing our president.

And they were right. About that and a lot more. But we’ve managed to (mostly) overcome the safeguards they built in, and the rabble – that’s us – has managed to do what DeTocqueville warned against:

“The American Democratic experiment will succeed until the people realize they can vote themselves money from the public treasury… then it will collapse.”

That’s what a Republic is supposed to prevent. It failed. It was supposed to be foolproof, but we keep making better fools.

34) I have a stepdaughter, about to turn 46, who is a product of Tucson’s public schools. She’s done OK in spite of that.

35) I have two grandchildren, one 25 and one 26, who were also exposed to that system. I was unable to intervene, but my wife definitely mitigated the effect. I am not, regardless of my sister’s chosen profession, a public school enthusiast. I am still convinced that the public school systems are a tool, deliberately crafted twisted by the left to produce mindless, unthinking, compliant, obedient proles. And they have been wildly successful in spite of the efforts of teachers like my sister.

36) I no longer wonder about the effects of 20+ years of public school systems ON my sister.

37) I hoped that the world my grandchildren would grow up in was a bright, cheerful, and safe one. So much for that hope.

38) I intended for them to be able to think for themselves and stand up for their rights. I’m ambivalent about my success there.

39) I concentrated in this blog on the right to arms because, to me, it is the litmus test of the politician’s faith. If you do not trust the populace with arms, you should not be a leader. A Republic needs to be lead by leaders, not people courting popular support. Always understand that some will not be worthy of that trust, but that’s not reason to strip all of their rights. Government is supposed to be there to protect the rights of its citizens, not parent them. Instead, ours has decided to oppress them.

40) In a Democracy, the majority rules. If 50% +1 decide that all left-handed redheads should be exiled, then it’s law and that’s all there is to it. A Constitutional Republic has a basis in law that says “Government may NOT DO” and “Government may ONLY DO” and when it strays from those rules, its citizens lose. That system WORKS, as long as we let it. But once we start bending those restrictions for personal advantage, it begins to fail. Our system began failing almost from inception, but for over 200 years it has worked better than any other government in history in making the United States of America the most free, most productive, and most hopeful nation on Earth. But 225 years of entropy “by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding,” opportunists who chip, chipped away at the foundations, and a few with malice aforethought has brought us to this point.

Some times I wish I did drink. Happy 21st Birthday, TSM!

And They Tell Us Defensive Gun Use is a Fantasy.

Isn’t this interesting?

In an interview that’s equal parts amusing and alarming, Indiana’s Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears recently lamented an increase in self-defense shootings in Indianapolis.

Mears complained to reporters that shootings involving self-defense claims are challenging to prosecute. This “mean[s] that someone lost their life” and “that case might ultimately be cleared” without the shooter being charged, he said.

Yes, that’s how self-defense is supposed to work.

From the link in the above excerpt:

“What’s upsetting to me is, if you look at the month of January, I think we had 18 homicides during that month,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. “Fourteen of those were being investigated for self-defense, meaning that someone lost their life, and that case might ultimately be cleared. But that doesn’t do anything for that family who lost someone.”

That ratio is 14/18 or 77.7% of homicides in January being possibly self-defense. I doubt strongly they all were, but still….

A man was shot and killed in a reported family disturbance on New Year’s Day. On Jan. 3, a man allegedly wrestled a gun away from an intruder in his home, then shot and killed the man. On Jan. 5, a woman shot and killed her boyfriend who was allegedly attacking her. Several more shootings occurred that month in a violent start to 2024 where the circumstances and culpability were even less clear.

Someone died, but no one was ever charged with a crime.

Because defending your own life is understandably legal, and the person who is dead was killed committing a criminal act. Amazing how that works, isn’t it? And they won’t be recidivist!

So far most gun laws that have been passed have concentrated on disarming the law-abiding, making them defenseless in the face of aggression. In my opinion, this is a net good. Obviously not in the thinking of Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.